It is vital that students attend the Academy every day in order to learn and progress. Any absence has a negative impact on a child’s learning; regular absence has a significant impact on achievement and opportunity.
Ideally, all students would have an attendance rate of 100% although, clearly, we recognise that occasionally students may not be able to attend. For this reason, attendance of 95% and above is considered as acceptable. Attendance below 95% is a concern. A child with an attendance rate below 90% is classed as a Persistent Absentee.
We hope and expect that all parents will encourage students to attend regularly and punctually. If a child is unable to attend school, for whatever reason, parents should contact the Academy by 8.30am to explain the reason for absence. Reception is open to take calls from 7.30am and Student Services from 8.30am. Clearly, students should only be absent where absolutely unavoidable.
Parents are asked to contact the Academy on each day of absence and may, in certain circumstances, be asked to provide medical evidence as to why their child is off school. Parents will be contacted, and home visits made if we do not receive any notification of a student absence.
Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, states parents are responsible for ensuring that a child, of compulsory school age, attends school regularly and punctually. If parents fails in this duty, then the Academy will work with Tameside Local Authority and initiate legal proceedings; this may involve issuing Fixed Penalty fines or prosecution.
Following changes in legislation in 2013, parents are no longer entitled to take leave of absence during term time. Leave of absence during term time will only be granted under exceptional circumstances; this does not include family holidays, celebrations or weddings.
Requests for leave of absence in term time should be put in writing to the Headteacher by letter or email. The Headteacher’s decision is final and cannot be appealed. If parents take their children out of school without making a request, or if parents still take their child out of school after a request has been denied, the absence will be marked as unauthorised and they will be issued with a Penalty Notice fine by Tameside MBC.
The Penalty Notice fine is £120 per parent, per child; this is reduced to £60 per parent, per child if the fine is paid within 21 days. If not paid within 28 days, parents will be prosecuted by the Local Authority for failure to pay and this may result in a further increase to the fine.